People come into your life for many reasons.
Sometimes, you meet them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and you follow them. At other times, you attend their events and develop a relationship with them. A relationship of admiration, respect and collaboration. We are because they chose to do extraordinary things with their lives. We write about them, we watch them closely on social media rooting for them. Their win is your win.
I am writing this about Mr Tunde Obasan, the UCP candidate whose life just took the most beautiful turn. When you are a Christian and an ardent follower of God and the Bible, having given an aspiration, your most worthy endeavour, you accept that God makes everything beautiful in his own time. You understand that your time will come. For every setback, there is a God catch that reads:
"Fear Not, I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand'. Isaiah 41: 10
This loss will work out for our good. It has been hard to come to terms with the results, even harder to articulate what the way forward is. Ultimately, this is not the end of the story.
Mr Obasan is a trailblazer. According to his Facebook page, "He moved from Nigeria to Edmonton with his wife Susan and their four children. He is a community builder and volunteer at his local church (Rhema Chapel ), Edmonton Mennonite Centre, ASSIST Community Services and his local community league". His life here in Alberta has been defined by how much of himself he chooses to give. Mr Obasan holds nothing back. His personal motto is one of giving and service.
Do you know how many people his campaign inspired and mobilized?
Many people participated in the elections process for the very first time. Across the province, it was the same story. Many people turned out. Two days ago, Elections Alberta released the unofficial results from the Alberta elections. The results show that the United Conservative Party won with 63 seats and Alberta's NDP with 24 seats. The Alberta elections were very hotly contested. 700,000 advance ballots were cast across the province. Elections Alberta said more than 223,000 were cast at a polling station. Unofficial voter turnout was 71.1% based on 1,880,508 votes cast. In 2015, only 53% took part in the elections.
Tunde Obasan is one of us. He shared his vision with us. He showed us that Nigerians, Africans can make a difference. We do not have to sit on the sidelines. He taught us to believe in ourselves, in our psyches and in our communities. His call to us is to serve.
Mr Obasan did not have to do anything. He is an accomplished chartered accountant. He rolled up his sleeves and got in the fight. The fight for Edmonton South. We applaud him for this. We thank his wife and kids for releasing him to this work.
A look at his recent Facebook posts shows you where he is mentally. He is optimistic about the UCP win. He wrote this yesterday: "The best way to predict the future is to create it. Alberta is ready to create a predictable future of opportunities".
Edmonton salutes and supports Tunde Obasan as he recoups and strategizes for his future. He will have our support and best wishes for whatever next he chooses to do.
Here is his statement on Facebook:
"As Elections Alberta released the final results just a few minutes ago, congratulations to Thomas Dang for his victory are due.
As a first-generation immigrant, I am truly humbled and honoured to have had this opportunity to be part of this political process – first as a nomination candidate and then as the MLA candidate for the United Conservative Party representing the Edmonton South riding. So many people have supported me along the way and I would like to acknowledge their efforts. Firstly, I’m grateful to my campaign team. Against unbelievable odds, they worked diligently and I am grateful for all they did to bring this campaign to this point. We may not have gotten the final result we desired, but the mere fact that we got to where we did, is a huge achievement in itself.
I am also grateful to my team of volunteers – the best volunteers a candidate could ask for – and all those who contributed to this campaign. You all gave of your valuable time and resources. Thank you – your sacrifices propelled me in ways you will never know or understand.
Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to thank my family. Their love and support kept me going throughout this process. I want to especially thank my wife, Suzan for all the sacrifices she made as we journeyed together. I will be forever grateful for her support and wise counsel.
It has been a long and interesting journey and in spite of the final result, one thing is certain – my commitment to the constituents of Edmonton South and Alberta remains steadfast as I look forward to supporting the UCP-led government in restoring an Alberta that is strong and free".
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